Is timber harvesting really compatible with a healthy environment? Research from the University of New England and Griffith University shows it can be.
A study focusing on waterways in the subtropical forests of Northern NSW found ecological integrity can be maintained, provided careful forestry management techniques are practised.
Unrestricted logging can devastate not only forests but also the streams that run through them, increasing sediment and choking aquatic eco-systems.
But the study found selective harvesting with buffer zones and other abatement measures can be effective in preventing the damage.
Lead researcher Dr Rob Rolls says the results will help provide better guidelines for sustainable forestry.
“We now have robust evidence that best management practices for selective harvesting are effective for preserving stream ecosystem health draining harvested forests,” Dr Rolls says.
“We have to be careful about drawing the same conclusions for other climates and forest types, but our study is a clear guide for stream-friendly harvesting in Australia’s valuable sub-tropical forests.”
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